Game Theory with Sam Vecenie: College Basketball | NBA Draft | NCAA Podcast

NBA Draft and College Basketball Expert Sam Vecenie talks all levels of Pro & NCAA hoops.
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Game Theory with Sam Vecenie: College Basketball | NBA Draft | NCAA Podcast




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Mar 15, 2017

In this episode, I chat with good friend of the program Gary Parrish from over at CBS Sports. First, we chat about real estate in California, then move onto what it was like for him to be on the CBS Selection Show this year for the first time. Next, we move to a discussion of LaVar Ball, who both of us have gotten to know a little bit (hint: we're both pro-LaVar Ball for reasons discussed here).

Then we get into the NCAA Tournament bracket. First, we hit on Wichita State being in the field, on why he's picking UCLA to win the tournament, why we both want Gonzaga to make the Final Four, and then finally why it's not insane to see a circumstance where zero ACC teams make the Final Four. We also chat about our favorites in the field, and what storylines we're most looking forward to. 

Our sponsors today are MyBookie, where you can get a 50% first time deposit bonus by using the promo code "THEORY", and SeatGeek, where you can get a $20 rebate by using the promo code "GAMETHEORY" in the settings tab. You can follow me over at @Sam_Vecenie, and follow Gary over at @GaryParrishCBS. See him on TV this coming week on all of the CBS/Turner channels, as well as follow his work at the dot com site. 

Mar 14, 2017

In this episode, I chat with Mike Rutherford about a wide variety of topics. First, we talk about our favorite NCAA Tournament memories, both of which have occurred in the last four years. Then, we go reasonably in-depth on Louisville, one of the most interesting teams in the NCAA Tournament due to their defensive talent, athleticism, and the matchup problems they can pose. Next, we get into an in-depth breakdown of some Cinderellas, including UNC-Wilmington, Middle Tennessee, Winthrop, East Tennessee State, and others. What do you need to know before picking upsets in your bracket pool? Finally, we close by noting how there have been fewer buzzer beaters this year than last, hoping for that to change as soon as possible. 

Our sponsors today are MyBookie, where you can get a 50% first time deposit bonus by using the promo code "THEORY", and SeatGeek, where you can get a $20 rebate by using the promo code "GAMETHEORY" in the settings tab. You can follow me over at @Sam_Vecenie, and follow Mike at @CardChronicle. Read his work at, as well as listen to his show over at 93.9 The Ville in Louisville. 

Mar 13, 2017

In this episode, Reags from over at Barstool hops on just minutes after the Selection Sunday bracket was revealed to show the path to the NCAA Tournament. We break down every single game in some capacity, with our favorites including Nevada-Iowa State, Oklahoma State-Michigan, and Wichita State-Dayton. We also chat about some of the problems we found with seeding in this bracket, how the committee needs to figure out a better way to get the bracket right and make it more advantageous for winning teams. Finally we also give preliminary Final Four picks.

Our sponsors today are MyBookie, where you can get a 50% first time deposit bonus by using the promo code "THEORY" and SeatGeek, where you can get a $20 rebate by using the promo code "GAMETHEORY" in the settings tab. You can follow me over at @Sam_Vecenie, and Reags over at @BarstoolReags. 

Mar 10, 2017

In this episode, I chat with Mark Titus from over at The Ringer about a variety of topics related to college basketball heading into the NCAA Tournament. 

First, we talk about Frank Mason, and the important release of BIFM 2 by RedHead. Also, do we know more about our favorite basketball players because of the social media era? 

Second, we talk about the state of Ohio State basketball? Neither of us are in favor of getting rid of Thad Matta, but then again we're not exactly biased. More than that though, how good is this program? What can be done to change its fortunes? How far away is Ohio State from making the NCAA Tournament again? 

Then, we ask the question that is taking college basketball by storm: IS DUKE BACK? Really, then we chat about how this Duke basketball season has possibly been the most interesting of any college basketball season in the last decade.

Finally, we chat about how insufferable the NBA vs. college basketball fan argument can be, as well as give our picks for the most likely teams to make the Final Four as well as the teams we like more than most other people do. 

You can use the promo code "GAMETHEORY" to get a $20 rebate from Seat Geek. Also, you can follow Mark over at @clubtrillion. 

Mar 8, 2017

In this episode, I chat with Reags at Barstool about the six high-major leagues conference tournaments (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Big East, Pac-12, SEC, in that order). But before that, I chat with him about LaVar Ball and the ridiculousness of the conversation surrounding him, as well as trying to fix mid-major conference tournaments by rigging the system for conference champions. 

This episode is sponsored by Seat Geek, where you can get a $20 rebate by using the promo code "GAMETHEORY" in settings tab. You can follow Reags at @BarstoolReags. 

Mar 6, 2017

In this episode, I chat with Rob Dauster at NBC Sports and hand out some personal all-conference awards after drinking mimosas on a Sunday afternoon. Your full list of winners: 

Big Ten POY: Caleb Swanigan; DPOY: Ethan Happ; COY: Chris Collins; FOY: Bridges; All-BIG Ten Team: Swanigan, Ethan Happ, Bridges, Melo Trimble, Malcolm Hill

Pac-12: POY: Lonzo Ball; DPOY: Jordan Bell; COY: Sean Miller; FOY: Ball; All-PAC-12: Ball, Dillon Brooks, Lauri Markkanen, Markelle Fultz, Derrick White

Big-12 POY: Frank Mason; DPOY: Jo Lual-Acuil; COY: Scott Drew; FOY: Josh Jackson; All-Big 12: Mason, Johnathan Motley, Jackson, Jawun Evans, Monte Morris

ACC: POY: Luke Kennard; DPOY: Ben Lammers; COY: Mike Brey; FOY: Dennis Smith; All-ACC: Kennard, Justin Jackson, John Collins, Donovan Mitchell, Smith

Big East POY: Josh Hart; DPOY: Khyri Thomas, Creighton; FOY: Shamorie Ponds; COY: Ed Cooley; All-Big East: Hart, Angel Delgado, Jalen Brunson, Rodney Pryor, Trevon Bluiett

SEC POY: Malik Monk; DPOY: Sindarius Thornwell; FOY: Monk; COY: Mike White; All-SEC: Monk, De'Aaron Fox, Thornwell, Yante Maten, Moses Kingsley

This episode of the podcast is sponsored by SeatGeek. Use the promo code Game Theory to get a $20 rebate after your first purchase!

Mar 3, 2017

Today's show is a two-part episode. The first half of the episode features Danny Leroux and I talking about recent NBA injuries. First, we chat quickly about Kevin Durant, then pretty extensively about Kyle Lowry. Finally, we chat about Joel Embiid's injury and what it means for the Sixers going forward. 

Then, I bring on Reags from over at Barstool, where we chat about the difficulty of going on TV and the New York Knicks disaster. Then, we chat about how ridiculous it is to think any normal human could average two points per game in the NBA if guaranteed 15 minutes per game. Do we even think Terrell Owens, future Hall of Fame football player and former college basketball player, could do it? We then chat about the best gambling season of the year -- college basketball tournament season -- then finish up with our answers for what the greatest what-if is in the last 20 years of college basketball. 

This episode is sponsored by SeatGeek. Use the promo code "GAMETHEORY" to get $20 back after your first purchase. You can follow Danny at @DannyLeroux and Reags at @BarstoolReags. 

Mar 1, 2017

In this episode, I chat with Andy Bottoms of Assembly Call, who over the last five years has statistically been rated as the top bracketologist in his field. Within this discussion, we chat about No. 1 seeds, how weak the bubble is, the Wichita State conundrum, and then we break down all of the bubble. How safe should teams like VCU, Providence, Arkansas, Seton Hall, and Marquette feel? How can Wake Forest, Illinois, TCU, and Kansas State work their way into the field? We really get into the nitty gritty of teams' resumes, and how they're all just a jumbled mess right now. Finally, I make Andy answer the question that matters above all others in college basketball this season: IS DUKE BACK?

This episode is sponsored by SeatGeek, where you can get a $20 rebate by using the promo code "GAMETHEORY". You can follow Andy's work at, and follow him on Twitter at @AndyBottoms. 

Feb 27, 2017

In this episode, Raphielle Johnson and I chat about a wild weekend in college basketball, where Gonzaga suffered its first loss of the season, UCLA picked up a huge win over Arizona, and Kentucky took control of the SEC with a win over Florida. 

Specifically, I discuss why I'm still buying Gonzaga as one of the favorites to get to the Final Four, how Malik Monk impressed me with versatility this weekend, Iowa State and Monte Morris have been really rolling recently, how Jeffrey Carroll is the most improved player in all of college basketball, how Maryland is tailspinning, how we need to stop talking about Clemson, start talking about Providence and Minnesota, and whether or not North Carolina might be the best team in college hoops. Also, I make Raph answer the most important question in all of college basketball: is Duke back?

This episode is sponsored by SeatGeek, where you can enter the promo code GAMETHEORY and get a $20 rebate off of your first purchase. You can follow Raph at @raphiellej on Twitter, and read his work at FanRag Sports. 

Feb 24, 2017

In this episode, I chat with Jared Dubin from all over the internet, including VICE Sports about the NBA Trade Deadline. What do we make of the Celtics inaction? I explain why I like the Nerlens Noel deal more for the 76ers than most do. What the heck are the Bulls doing? What other moves happened that people should be excited about, including the Lou Williams and Bojan Bogdanovic deals. 

Feb 23, 2017

In this episode, I chat with Alex Bozich of Inside The Hall about the state of Indiana Basketball. What issues have befallen the program at this point? How did OG Anunoby's injury affect the team? But most importantly, what should be the fate of Tom Crean? Should he be retained as head coach? Has he lost the fanbase? What are some of his persistent issues as the school's coach? Have the positives outweighed the negatives enough to where he should get another season? And if he does get another season, how exactly should that be handled by the administration? Thanks to Alex for coming on, and you can follow his work at @insidethehall on Twitter, and at online.

Feb 22, 2017

In this episode, I chat with Eric Pincus about the Lakers and Howard Megdal about the NBA first. First, it's Eric and I chatting about Magic Johnson taking over basketball operations with the Lakers. How can the team go about being successful with him in charge? What do we make of Rob Pelinka taking over as general manager? Then, we break down the Lou Williams-to-Houston trade, with the Lakers picking up Corey Brewer's contract and a first rounder. 

In the second part, Howard and I chat about some NBA Draft prospects. What do we like about Markelle Fultz? How crazy impressive is Lonzo Ball's passing ability? Is Justin Jackson an underrated prospect? How much do we like Robert Williams? Is Tacko Fall a real NBA prospect? How much do we like Johnathan Motley as an NBA big man? 

Feb 20, 2017

EMERGENCY DEMARCUS COUSINS TRADE EDITION. In this episode, I chat with Dieter Kurtenbach from over at Fox Sports about the preposterous DeMarcus Cousins trade that saw the big man go from Sacramento to New Orleans for a package headlined by Buddy Hield. I am confused, so I tried to sort out my feelings about how the Kings could possibly make a move like this. 

Discussed are the values of Buddy Hield and Cousins, the way Cousins could work in New Orleans, and other tangential effects from this deal. Hope you enjoy!

Feb 20, 2017

In this episode, I get with good friend of the program Reags from over at Barstool to chat about potential DeMarcus Cousins trade partners to start. Then, we move to how bad the NBA Dunk Contest was. 

We move from their to college basketball, to chat about the Mark Gottfried firing and just how valuable the NC State job is. How good is D'Angelo Russell compared to this crop of point guards? Do you keep ketchup in the refrigerator? What do we make of LaVar Ball? 

Feb 17, 2017

In this episode, I chat with UCLA's Bryce Alford about what has been a pretty long, winding career at UCLA. He opens up a bit about what it's like to be a polarizing college athlete even among his the Bruin fanbase, about the situation this summer with his dad, growing up in the shadow of his dad, carving his own trail, and how crazy it is that he's likely to enter the top-10 in UCLA scoring all-time this coming week. We also chat about the UCLA team, playing with Lonzo Ball, and attempting to visualize a national championship as a player. 

In the second part of the episode, I bring on SB Nation's Ricky O'Donnell to chat about the NBA Draft prospects we consider to be most fun in this class. Specifically, we talk about Malik Monk's penchant for blowing up, Miles Bridges throwing down, potential fits for De'Aaron Fox, how big a fan of Robert Williams I am, and some of the prospects we're generally higher or lower because of just how fun they are, including Donovan Mitchell, Justin Jackson, Luke Kennard, and others. It's a fun, free-flowing conversation. 

Feb 15, 2017

In this episode, I chat with Blake Murphy from Raptors Republic about the Serge Ibaka deal and Aaron Torres from Fox Sports about college hoops. First, Blake and I chat about the specifics in the Ibaka deal. It was probably the best deal the team could do this deadline, but just how much will it actually help them? Blake is excited while I'm a bit more questionable. 

Then Torres and I chat about college hoops, particularly in regard to the ACC. Are there any elite teams? Who is the favorite to win the league? We also break down Louisville in a bit more depth. Finally, we also play a game in regard to which four teams we would take over the field in the NCAA Tournament. 

You can follow Aaron on Twitter at @Aaron_Torres, and you can follow Blake at @BlakeMurphyODC.

Feb 13, 2017

Two-part episode this time. In the first section, I chat with Reags over at Barstool about the committee releasing its top-16 teams for the NCAA Tournament so far (2:00-29:30), Gonzaga and Saint Mary's (29:30-40:30), and then finally the New York Knicks dumpster fire (46:45). 

Then, for the rest of the episode, I chat with Adam Mares from over at Denver Stiffs, Locked On Nuggets, and Vice Sports about the Jusuf Nurkic-Mason Plumlee trade that was agreed to on Sunday. First, we chat about why he believes this deal makes sense for the Nuggets despite my skepticism. Then, we chat about how the Portland side, and try to understand why they would trade away the third-best player on a playoff contender for future value. Overall, a fun conversation about trying to build a team, and what matters within these discussions. 

You can follow Reags at @BarstoolReags on Twitter, and you can follow Adam at @Adam_Mares. 

Feb 10, 2017

In this episode, I chat with Zach Harper of FanRag Sports about the new TV pilot he's working on, and then we break down the 2016-17 NBA rookie class. Oh, and at the end we talk about John Wick 2, and how excited we are for John Wick 2. Seriously, you should all see John Wick 2. 

Slightly less importantly though, we chat about how Joel Embiid is already a top-30 NBA player, how the Pelicans may regret taking Buddy Hield over Jamal Murray, the flashes we've seen from Brandon Ingram, the lack of excitement we share over Marquese Chriss, and many other rookies. We also chat about Malik Monk at the top, and seriously, John Wick, the greatest action movie in the history of action movies. 

Feb 8, 2017

In this edition, I chat with friend of the program Rob Dauster about a fun article he runs every year over at NBC Sports. Imagine if college basketball had a trade deadline just like in the NBA, and teams could gear up for an NCAA Tournament run. How would your team do it, and what players would realistically be available?

Where would Markelle Fultz end up? What about fellow potential one-and-done Robert Williams? How would Duke address its point guard issue? Could Creighton reestablish its footing as a potential Final Four team by replacing Mo Watson with another point guard? Can Kentucky pick up a big wing to fix some of its defensive issues? Could Indiana salvage its season?

All of this and more in one of the more fun podcasts of the year. 

Feb 7, 2017

In this episode, I chat with my good buddy Jeff Eisenberg over at Yahoo! Sports about the elite teams in college basketball. We chat about all of these teams (in this order): Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga, Oregon, Arizona, UCLA, Louisville, Kentucky, Florida State, Virginia, North Carolina, Baylor, and Wisconsin. Then finally, we close out by talking about how Duke fits into this, then name our top-four teams in the country (or, in other words, what our Final Four would be). You can follow Jeff over at @JeffEisenberg on Twitter. 

Feb 2, 2017

In this episode, I chat with Chris Stone of FanSided about the new 2017 NBA Draft Big Board I published over at Sporting News on Thursday. Our basic order of operations:

First, we discuss the overall strength of this class in comparison to the 2016 NBA Draft. Then, we start going through the board in this relative order (note: not the order of my board). Markelle Fultz, followed by Josh Jackson, Lonzo Ball, Dennis Smith, Jonathan Isaac, Jayson Tatum, Malik Monk, Lauri Markkanen, Miles Bridges, Justin Patton, Bam Adebayo, Robert Williams, Harry Giles, John Collins, Luke Kennard, and Mikal Bridges. 

Within there, we also chat about some of our favorite fits for the 76ers or Celtics and some general team-based stuff, but this is mostly a very nerdy edition discussing draft prospects. 

Jan 31, 2017

In this episode, I chat with Troy Machir from CSN Mid-Atlantic about the Notre Dame-Duke game, Virginia-Villanova game, and the horrible Edmond Sumner news that he'll be out for the season.

Then, we break down where the bubble stands conference-by-conference. Should 13 ACC teams make the NCAA Tournament? Does the SEC really only have three tourney quality teams? How does the Big Ten shake out? Just how quickly does the Pac-12 drop off? Are Creighton and Xavier safe? More importantly though, seriously, how soft can this bubble possibly be right now? Are teams like Georgia and Kansas State seriously in the field right now? 

Jan 29, 2017

In this episode, I bring on CJ Moore from Bleacher Report and talk about Kansas-Kentucky, the SEC-Big 12 challenge, the some of the other upsets in college basketball yesterday, including talking too much about Colorado. You can (and should!) follow CJ at @CJMooreBR on Twitter. 

Jan 26, 2017

In this episode, I chat with ESPN's Jeff Goodman about two topics. First, we chat about the biggest story in college basketball: what's wrong with Duke, and can they fix it?

Following that, we chat about who Jeff's favorite prospects in the 2017 draft are, if there is a consensus forming around the top-10, who we think some potential risers are up the board, and if there is anyone currently being a bit underrated by the general public. Overall, a far reaching conversation on a lot of different players. 

Jan 24, 2017

In this episode, I chat with Reags over at Barstool about a wide variety of topics, none of which have to do with Duke. First, we go through a few recent additions and subtractions to rosters, including OG Anunoby, Dillon Brooks, and Allonzo Trier. 

Then, in the second half of the podcast, we break down the Knicks' season and what their direction should be heading into the draft. Should they look to try to unload Carmelo Anthony? Should they be trying to move guys like Courtney Lee? What do you do with Derrick Rose? Who should the Knicks be trying to get their hands on in the draft? Lot to discuss in what will undoubtedly be an incredibly busy offseason in New York. 

Also, I can't emphasize this enough: no Duke. 

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